[OPE-L:3145] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: re:starting points

From: Rakesh Bhandari (bhandari@Princeton.EDU)
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 10:51:31 EDT

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Good morning Ajit,

not quite sure whether you answered my point that we have to specify what
kind of labor produces value and surplus value.

The brevity of your questions does not let on to what you are getting at,
so I will only be a bit less brief in replying.

>What is *value*?

Socially necessary labor time required to *re*produce a commodity; it is
not the labor time embodied or energy expended in making a commodity

>On what ground you know that "they [value] have to be modes of expression of
the same undifferentiated human labor"?

Marx argues that because any two commodities can be rendered equivalent in
terms of the same money denominator, they must contain the same substance.
Marx then reasons this substance can only be abstract labor or the same
undifferentiated labor, though this would only seem to have a phantom
objectivity. We discover upon further reading that a social relation is
represented as a paradoxically immaterial property of thingly commodities.
Marx refers to this as the necromancy of commodities.

>you need to tell us how do you measure it {value} before you start telling
us about its rise or fall.

The question is not how I measure commodity value; the question is how it
is in fact determined in bourgeois society. Commodity value cannot be
determined in terms of the logic of being, only the logic of essence, as
our Hegelian friends would put it. That is, commodity value can only be
reflected in some quantity of the use value which plays the role of the
universal equivalent--there are further peculiarities to the value form.
Moreover, such representation of commodity value is necessarily
misrepresentation; Marx argues that such discrepancy must be built into the
price form if it is through prices that we are dynamically allocating our
social labor time.

Yours, Rakesh

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